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What’s Your Top Travel Movie?

Which bit of Hollywood movie magic inspires you to travel and explore new places?

Every year Hollywood and a whole host of smaller movie production centres create an increasing number of visually spectacular films that bite us with the travel bug and encourage us to get up and go seek an equally impressive vista or life-changing experience.

At this week’s Holiday Extras Customers’ Awards 2011, the film that was voted “the most inspirational travel film” was Shirley Valentine. Released back in 1989, the film features Pauline Collins as a housewife who is bored to distraction with her hum-drum life so see jets off on an all-expenses paid holiday to Greece.

The film came up against some stiff competition in the form of Australia, Around the World in 80 days, An Idiot Abroad and the Leonardo di Caprio Thai island stunner, The Beach.

These films show off the magnificence of the locations where they were shot. The Beach still has significant impact in encouraging people to take Thai holidays to find the islands of perfect white sand beaches, despite the fact that the film was released back in the year 2000.

In more recent years, the 2008 smash hit Mamma Mia! movie caused a huge spike of interest in Greece holidays thanks to the beautiful Greek island film set location.

Even films that are not specifically themed around travel can evoke the strong desire to go and visit the country in which they are shot. For example, The Lord of the Rings trilogy may well be “set” in Middle Earth and focus on an epic fantasy of battles and quests, but it certainly has done a lot of good for New Zealand tourism by encouraging people to come and see the spectacular vistas captured in the films.

So what film really fires you up for some intrepid exploration?